Superstuffed Deviled Eggs

 Here's another dish I served at Thanksgiving, but of course everyone knows that deviled eggs are perfect for any party any time of the year. What's special about these was actually part of an accident: as my mom and I were peeling the eggs, a chunk of one of the whites came off, so I decided instead of potentially wasting it, I would add it to the bag I was squishing the filling mixture in, which resulted in a lot of filling! I liked how each appetizer looked so generous, which of course is the perfect theme to set for the holiday season! I served deviled eggs to go alongside the salad, which was sweet, and these were savory, so they were a great compliment. Plus I was serving a grain-free Thanksgiving so I wanted at least one thing that was familiar to everyone to be served.

These were a great make-ahead appetizer. Also, because I used a plastic bag to make the filling with, clean up was really easy and the results were tidy-looking.

Perfect hard-cooked eggs:
I used my stand-by method for hard cooking eggs, adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe. This recipe helps prevent that gross grey ring around the yolk and sulfur smell that comes from over-cooking the eggs. The secret to hard-boiled eggs is not to actually boil them. What you want to do is add your eggs (using the freshest you can find so that they are easy to peel) to a saucepan of water just large enough to accommodate them all. I used eggs from barn-roaming chickens. Cover the eggs with at least 1/2-1 inch of water and place them on the burner over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, immediately turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner and cover with a lid. Allow the eggs to sit in the water to gently cook. For 1-2 eggs, I cook them for 10 minutes, but for 6-8 14 minutes is perfect. Once the time is up, immediately plunge the eggs into cold-even iced-water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, store them in the refrigerator until you need to use them. I often store them in the cold water I used to cool them with, but not for any particular reason. If you use this method, you will be ensured a silky, not hard, egg white and a bright yellow and creamy, not powdery and grossly-colored, yolk.

Superstuffed Deviled Eggs
Printable Recipe

7 eggs, hard cooked (method above)
4 tbsp mayonnaise made with olive oil
1 tsp coarse brown mustard
4 gherkins or "midget" pickles, minced
1 tsp pickle juice
2 tsp minced shallots
1 1/2 tbsp minced celery (I actually took the time to peel off the stringy parts with a vegetable peeler before minching)
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, sliced gherkins, and sliced green olives for garnish

1. Cut all but one egg in half from the narrow end to the wide end. Extract the yolk and add them to a quart-sized zip-top bag. Chop the remaining egg and add it to the bag.
2. Arrange the egg whites on their sides on a platter, like little boats.
3. Add the mayo, mustard, pickle, pickle juice, shallot, celery, and salt and pepper to the bag, remove the air from the bag, seal, and mash together with your hands.
4. Push all the filling to one corner and snip with scissors to make a pastry bag. Squirt a little bit of the filling into each egg white cavity. Sprinkle each egg with paprika and top each one with a garnish, either pickle slice or olive slices. Can be made a day ahead, except add garnishes at the last minute.

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